I was recently reading that about 70% of adults have some form of ADD. I would count myself in that group and ironically, I’m a teacher of kids with ADD and ADHD.
This may explain why we forget where we put our keys, whether we’ve even brushed our teeth or taken medication. Scientific research tells us that we can only hold 4 chunks of information in our working memory for a brief period of time. A chunk could even be one word. So, think about losing your keys because you are multi-tasking in the morning and trying to get your household in order before the day begins. We have the illusion that we are conscious of hundreds of things at one time: colors, things moving around us, awareness of what we are striving to achieve are all examples.
However, in actuality we are only aware of a tiny bit of info at a time and as you’ll probably agree, it’s almost impossible to remember any sentence that has seven or more words.
There’s always an upside to everything and in this situation it is that we do have a benefit to our abbreviated memory. We just can’t focus on a positive and negative experience simultaneously. The sensation of pain, whether emotional or physical will always diminish when we think of something pleasurable. Try it if you don’t believe me. And, teach your children to do this simple technique.
According to author and neuro-scientist, Mark Waldman, in his e-book, Neuro-Wisdom, “The brain has preferences to embed negative emotions because the organism needs to respond to future threats faster than our conscious mind can respond.” He explains, “When a real emergency takes place like someone driving their car into your lane, the consciousness in your frontal lobe is turned down so that your instinctual reactions can take evasive action.”
The more you think about the possibility that something awful may happen, the more your brain releases the stress chemicals to prepare the body for the “fight or flight” response.
Building optimism and a way to deal with negative thoughts and stress involves a ratio according to Dr. Waldman. It was determined in an independent study done by Fredrickson, Gottman and Losada that when the number of positive and negative ratios is is 5:1, that is, 5 positive thoughts/experiences vs. 1 negative one, we have much more peace of mind and self-satisfaction. This ratio will avoid the brain’s propensity to turn negative experiences into memories which then engender beliefs that we act upon.
So, okay there are a multitude of techniques which help you own this ratio and which of course is important to teach to youngsters. The one I’ll highlight today is called the Flip Switch Technique pioneered by Dr. Robert Anthony whose transitional self-hypnosis books and audios can easily be found on line. Please refer to my blog in www.thevoyagerjourney.wordpress.com and find Dr. Anthony’s Flip Switch Technique written on August 26th 2014 under the heading Neuro-Science -Creating a Paradigm Shift. You may also look at the following blogs for more techniques/info. June 8, 2015, Right Intention, Sept 1. 2014, The Vibration of Appreciation.